I posted this on reddit so many of you may have already seen it, but I’d love to get the more refined opinions of this audience.
I’ve been working on the Basis, my dream keyboard, for some time now. I’ve gone through multiple prototype iterations, and I feel I’ve arrived at something that meets the ‘endgame’ quality bar I was striving to reach. With that, I’m at a decision point in the project: do I want to produce this for other people, and does anyone care? So, I’m asking for feedback from folks on what they think about the project whether it sparks their interest. I know the design is polarizing, but I love to hear feedback either direction!
A gallery of photos of a full-quality mono prototype is here: https://imgur.com/gallery/Xw8Xv4J
Some shots of an earlier prototype showing the split layout is here: https://imgur.com/gallery/lWS7OVc
begin advertising copy
The Basis is an ortholinear 65%(ish) keyboard with three rotary encoders.
The keyboard is designed to be a developer’s dream daily driver keyboard. The encoders are positioned for frequent, workflow-integrated use, and the key layout was aligned with a typical laptop keyboard to enable friction free switching from working at your desk to working on the go…
There are two configurations for the Basis - the mono (single piece) keyboard, or a split keyboard with two independent halves connected with a cable.
The PCB is designed to be completely hotswappable - even the rotary encoders. We designed a custom plate fitting that slots over your encoders to fully secure them while allowing them to be hotswapped as easily as any keyswitch key. But, if you want to solder your switches and encoders, you can do that too.
The PCBs run low power ARM processors with USB-C connectors, onboard audio, RGB underglow lighting and static discharge protection. The Basis runs on QMK firmware, and will support VIA for easy key binding.
The high profile frosted polycarbonate case has no visible seams or screws on the outside. A configurable weight or sound dampener sits under the plate, and additional dampening can be added between the plate and PCB to create a more muted audio experience.
The layout uses ‘ergo’ style keycaps, with a mix of 1.5u and 1u modifiers. The spacebars can be configured as 4 x 1u, 2 x 1u and 1 x 2u, or 2 x 2u. Or, if you want, 1 x 3u and 1 x 1u. The PCB only supports MX-compatible switches, and EC11 compatible encoders with push switches.
After multiple prototyping stages and extensive testing, the Basis keyboard is ready to be an endgame keyboard. Because of the multiple components and difficult-to-machine case geometry, the expected price may be somewhere above $500 for the case, weight, PCB, plate and associated hardware.
More photos of the Basis and updates on the project can be found on our instagram, at https://www.instagram.com/_tangent_space_/